‘The White Lotus,’ a painful reality in paradise

Snobbery, ignorance, petty feuds and a relative lack of likable characters: HBO’s “The White Lotus” is unpleasant and frustrating to watch, and yet it leaves viewers engaged and wanting more after six-hour-long episodes.   “The White Lotus” follows a group of guests and employees at a high-end beach resort in Hawaii called the White Lotus. […]

‘Pig’ is a revenge film done right

“Pig” is not what you think it is. It is not a wacky gore film carried on the back of Nicholas Cage’s crazy, nor is it a member of the “John Wick” “Taken” genre of ultra-violent revenge fantasies. “Pig” is a solemn, sad, slow-paced film that carries a poignant message and takes you on an […]

‘The Empty Man’ is an intriguing mess

If a horror movie is going to exceed an hour and 40 minutes, it better have a good reason. “The Empty Man’s” near two and a half-hour run time only serves to stretch out this could-have-been-intriguing horror movie into a clunky, inconsistent thriller with a few spooky moments. A clever plot and competent filmmaking only […]

‘Stay out of the Attic’ is a fun, but fatuous B-horror

The entertainment value in a movie does not always have to correspond with the quality of that movie. In celebration of Passover, I sat down and watched a wonderfully gory horror movie that exemplified this idea. “Stay out of the Attic” is a fast-paced, stereotypical, 80-minute body horror movie that both entertained me and forced […]

‘The Mauritanian’ is a boring depiction of a remarkable story

Stories of American depravity need to be told. “The Mauritanian” tells an important, still horrifyingly relevant, true story of a Guantanamo Bay (Gitmo) detainee. This film thrives in bringing sympathy and attention to the men wrongfully imprisoned in Gitmo but fails to enthrallingly present the court case the movie centers around. Based on the book […]

BBC’s ‘Ghosts’ is British humour at its finest

Have you ever stumbled onto a show that just makes you smile? A show that is sweet and funny, where you like every character and you always leave an episode feeling a little better? I found BBC’s “Ghosts” on HBO Max and, having been familiar with the cast from the iconic musical sketch comedy “Horrible […]

‘Kid Detective’ is a comedic mystery for the ages

What happened when Nate the Great grew up? How long does free ice cream for life awarded to a 10-year-old last? When is it no longer cute to find who stole the fifth-grade fundraiser money? “Kid Detective” is the story of a pint-sized private eye all grown up, still finding lost cats and deducing if […]

‘The Vigil:’ a Hasidic horror movie

A beautifully reimagined take on a person’s internal demons personified, “The Vigil” (2019), directed by Keith Thomas, manages to be touching, engaging and scary despite its low budget and well-worn premise. A Hasidic community, often only used as the setting for a documentary or harrowing TV drama, serves as a unique background for this demonic […]

‘Possessor’ is a horrific tale of technological intrusion

“Possessor” directed by Brandon Cronenberg is ostentatious, confusing and wholly unique in its artistic vision. This surrealist dramatic horror may be memorable and thought-provoking, but that does not excuse the vague, and at times boring, plot this movie is built upon. The extreme gore and beautifully constructed transitional sequences throughout this film partially make up […]

‘Freaky’ is underwhelming but entertaining

I have seen very few movies in which I felt the writers truly captured the complexities of teen language and diction. “Freaky,” the newest teen horror released in theaters, truly felt like it was written by adults trying to sound young. Its entertaining premise and the fantastic performance given by Vince Vaughn do not make […]

‘The Mortuary Collection’ is a hidden gem of horror

Anthology films are a massively important part of horror cinema, but the genre is often ignored or written off as a silly trend of the ’70s that went on too long. Much of this aversion stems from the legitimate observation that most anthology films are trashy and gross or low brow and overly silly. Even […]

‘Haunted Mansion:’ a look back at a childhood horror

In my ongoing search for horror movies appropriate for every audience, I have been looking back at movies that scared me as a young child that I have continuously returned to as I have gotten older. “Haunted Mansion,” the movie famously based on a Disneyland ride, has served alongside “Monster House” and the opening scene […]

‘Scare Me’ is a self-indulgent love letter to horror

With a drought of theatrical releases this Halloween season, I’ve sought the products of various streaming services to fulfill my horror movie quota. On Oct. 1 the streaming service Shudder released Josh Ruben’s directorial debut feature “Scare Me.” At an hour and 44 minutes, this meta-horror comedy has about 40 minutes of entertainment hidden within […]

‘Trick ‘r Treat’ will get you in the mood for Halloween

With the spooky season upon us and Halloween fast approaching, the need for horror movie recommendations has skyrocketed. To fulfill my civic duty as a film critic, I thought now would be the best possible time to recommend “Trick ‘r Treat” (2007) directed by Michael Dougherty, one of the best Halloween-themed horror movies that isn’t […]

“I’m Thinking of Ending Things:” A macabre breakup movie

Charlie Kaufman’s “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” odd, at times unbearably slow, pacing and hard-to-decipher surrealist atmosphere make it one of the most unsettling horror films of the last few years. Without the crutches of music, gore, character tropes, or a clear villain, “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” will enthrall and frighten any Netflix viewer […]